I am stuck between these two faucets for our kitchen remodel. I have to decide ASAP because the countertops will be installed next week, and well, they kinda sorta need to know what faucet I am going to buy so they can put the holes in the appropriate places.
This means…..that I pretty much have to order it by tomorrow, second day shipping. Procrastination and indecision has brought me to this point, so, your opinions please.
I was all set to order this faucet:
It’s nice right? It’s what I had on my mood board. While I was perusing the internet for the best possible price I kept see faucets like this that I could never afford:
I’ve been seduced by the bridge style faucet, even though I originally thought having a two handle faucet in the kitchen would be a pain. Once I started to think about it though, I don’t think it would be an issue to have to blend the hot/cold, even with messy hands…..or am I just talking myself into it? Bah! The symmetry of the bridge style is so much more appealing to the eye than the single handle.
The bridge style wouldn’t even be an option, but of course I found an affordable faucet that looks just like this:
Which is really a crappy photo of a really nice faucet. It will actually look like this in person (obviously I see there is a different neck style in the photo below, but you get the idea):
Clearly the blogger who installed this faucet has excellent taste Brass and marble – a women after my own heart. You can click on the picture for a link to her blog (which hopefully she doesn’t mind that I am sharing).
The question is:
- Single handle or two?
- Will two handles make me crazy?
I needed to order this like yesterday, so, comments please!
P.S. I’m set on brass – so please don’t try to talk me out of it in the chance it just makes me more confused.
The cabinet installation is finished and this step has really set the stage for how the completed kitchen will look. It is such a drastic change from the old maple cabinetry that was here before we started the remodel. Which my beloved blog readers, is a very, very good thing.
Do you remember when I put the mood board together for the kitchen? I couldn’t explain the decision to go with dark wood cabinets any better if I tried say it again:
We knew that dark cabinets were the way to go for us – we live in a 1930s Tudor revival that has dark woodwork throughout the house. We want the kitchen to feel like it’s part of the home, not like it dropped out of the sky. Shenandoah has the right style, door color and price for our project, and so, we went with the McKinley door in Cherry Bordeaux. We are going to have solid cherry cabinets in the kitchen! Can you tell I am excited?
Once the cabinets were delivered in December, I wrote a post detailing the whole process of selection and layout. That post can be found here.
So……clearly we still have a lot of work to do. You know what though, we’re just taking it in stride…being able to cook food and not have everything draped in plastic is a huge improvement in and of itself.
I also just realized I never shared the details on selecting the cabinet hardware, which by the way, might be my most favorite part of the whole kitchen. I’m making a note to write a future post on just that.
When we bought this house we knew it needed a lot of work. I mean a whole lot of work. The basement was 1/2 crawl space with musty earth open to the rest of the house which was letting creepy crawly things, moisture, mold and mice in. All of the original light fixtures had been removed, and the house had been thoroughly remuddled by the last owners. The bathrooms were outdated and the kitchen was a wreck (filthy doesn’t even begin to describe it). On top of all of that, the hardwood floors were scratched and stained. We loved the house even with all of it’s flaws.
We decided to take care of two things before we moved in:
- the dank, dark, creepy crawl space (a topic for another post)
- refinishing the hardwood floors
The floors were in such bad shape, we knew they should be done right away, and having it taken care of before we moved in only made sense. Once all of the boxes, rugs and furniture were inside, we were never going to get it done. We were able to have the work done while we were out of the country – which is also in a story in and of itself….for another post.
I looovveee dark floors. I wanted the floors really really really dark. Almost black. I realized after talking to the floor guy (because you know we had enough DIY projects of our own to do) that since our floors are oak, we would never achieve the uniformly dark colors that walnut or cherry provide, the grain just doesn’t take stain the same way. I know this – but I thought there still might have been a chance.
The hubs and I narrowed our choices down to these colors:
Feast your eyes on the before and afters (before is after the floors were sanded). This is also the first time you are able to see most of the house – enjoy!
I think the color turned out really well, and it’s a spot on match to the baseboard color. We had the floor guy do the top coat in a satin, but after living in the house for a few months, the floors were really just lacking luster, and if I had just walked into the house, I wouldn’t have known that the floors had recently be redone.
Sooooo….I picked up some of this in the grocery store the other day.
I washed the floors, and wiped it on with a damp mop. 30 minutes later the floor was dry, reflective, evenly glossy and gorgeous. The shine lasts through foot traffic and washings. It was an instant transformation, and you can add as many coats as you want to increase the level of shine. One coat was just fine for me. I wish I was being paid to post this – I am not. If someone wants to pay me – please do . I’ve only used about 1/2 of the bottle too. This stuff is great! Here is a picture where you can see the difference between polish and no polish. I stop right at the edge of the rug. What do you think?
Cheers, and happy Friday.
I thought I would take a break from the onslaught of kitchen posts because, well, even I had to take a break from the project to work on another room of the house.
I haven’t really figured out how I want to decorate every room (colors, fabrics, furniture) except for the dining room. I’m a sucker for formality (blame my mother) and since we plan on living in the house for a long, long time, I wanted to do something dramatic and completely ‘me’. If our house was a closet, the dining room would be the classic navy brass button blazer you wear for all those preppy occasions. Hahaha, oh my goodness…I just wrote that! Somebody shake me.
A mood board wasn’t necessary for this room because Pinterest was full of inspiring images. Here is a sample:
If you didn’t know this about me already – I like fancy gold things. Not everyone’s taste, I know. When I saw the navy/ gold combination in the images above, along with sparkly crystal and dark wood, it was screaming “Rachel!!! You have all of these elements somewhere in the house, combine them already!” If you hear the same words when you look at these images, you should check out this blog http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/. The writer also has a penchant for fancy gold shiny things. A kindred spirit in the blog world….I digress….
I found the vintage crystal chandelier on Craigslist. Ever since I discovered the Craigslist app, I have become a complete addict – checking the antique listing about 100 times a day. It’s paid off which some amazing deals on furniture and lighting though – so I justify the distraction.
The table is a Craigslist find too! I told you that website is a gold mine. I’m completely blown away by the things people are selling on there. It’s solid mahogany, Empire style, with brass feet. Brass is back! It didn’t have chairs, which was OK because my mother, who is a chair-a-holic (just kidding Mom!) conveniently had been collecting Empire chairs over the years. She gifted them to us as a house-warming present. They need a little bit of work, and have to be reupholstered in matching fabric, but they are just perfect with the table!
I put up a few samples, and polled my trusty Instagram blogger circle and all votes were for Benjamin Moore, Hale Navy. The Hubs thought it was going to be too dark and look black, but it turned out sooooooo well. Also, the hardware store had a paint isle catastrophe/avalanche so the Benjamin Moore paint was all discounted because the cans were dented and splattered in the fall. I scored a gallon of satin in the Aura line for the price of Regal. Such a good deal. I could definitely tell the difference when I was painting. I did not use a primer and only had to do one coat! This is insane considering I was painting navy blue over a white wall.
I picked the mirror up at a local consignment shop, and refreshed it with gold leaf. Pretty good find for $40.
The prints and paintings are all from flea markets or thrift stores. We picked up the bird prints at an antique flea market in Belgium this autumn.
So what do you think? I don’t have a real camera, so I’m shooting with my iPhone. It does make it difficult to get good shots when it’s really sunny, or very cloudy. During this time of year, it’s one or the other so I opted for sunny. I still need to make drapes ( silk…..not sure of the color yet) and hang a few more pictures…..and the ceiling needs to be replastered and the baseboards need to be stripped and stained. So, it’s you know, at 80% done. Just where I like to leave a project before I start a new one .
Well here I am again, showing of a porcelain tile that’s doing it best (which is very good I might add) to look like slate.
The inspiration came from several late night Pinterest kitchen binge sessions while I was looking for ideas to incorporate into our kitchen remodel. I realized one of the reasons I loved the look of several of the kitchen below was the beautiful cool gray tile floors. I liked that the large format tile is current and contemporary but that the color and style of the tile had a natural and old world feel.
I added it to the kitchen mood board not sure if I was going to find something similar in our price range. Luck had it that Lowes carries a tile pretty close, if not exactly what we wanted, in our price range: Galvano Charcoal Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile.We installed it several weeks ago over a plywood and Ditra substrate. After working through some issues to make the sure subfloor was level and flat.
It went down quickly and was easy to cut, but holy shit is this stuff heavy! Each box of tile must have weighed 60 pounds.
I would like everyone reading this to stop, pour themselves a drink, and toast to my husband and to our new neighbors who:
1. Cut tile outside, in the dark, in 20°F weather, in December. (Husband)
2. Either slept through the noise and commotion, or felt bad for the crazy DIY couple who just moved in next door and decided not to call the police with a noise complaint. (Neighbors)
Thank you both. It didn’t go unnoticed.
The photo above is just before grouting. May I just say that people who install tile for a living are tough! I’m in great shape, but after two 10 hour days of crawling around on my hands and knees I felt like I had aged 20 years. The knee pads hardly helped. We only had 3 knee pads too, so my poor hubby was crawling around with just one knee protected. Ouch! It was very chivalrous, and much appreciated on my part.
Also, grouting is the bane of my existence. If I were ever sentenced to hard labor in a work camp (not that I foresee this happening) and they told me that I would have to grout tile floors for the remainder of my internment, I might just run directly into the firing squad err… guards with guns err….. or whoever was keeping me there.
After the floor was grouted, we put down some paper so that we could paint the walls without messing up everything we had just done. After we pulled up the paper, it took a few passes with cheesecloth to wipe up the grout haze.
Unfortunately the electricity in the room was off while it was being rewired so it’s all very dark in the photos. :( The fridge hung in there, in all of it’s singular appliance glory, through the whole process.
Yes, the door in the picture about is upside-down and backwards. No, we didn’t do that. Yes, we plan to fix it….at some point.
What was that? Uncoupling isn’t a word that rolls off your tongue regularly? I was in the same boat, but now you can add this one to your vocabulary:
Tile has been successfully installed for thousands of years by incorporating an uncoupling layer, or forgiving shear interface, within the tile assembly. Schluter-DITRA provides uncoupling through its open rib structure, which allows for in-plane movement that effectively neutralizes the differential movement stresses between the substrate and the tile, thus eliminating the major cause of cracking and delaminating of the tiled surface. – Ditra
So basically, this plastic orange waffle membrane allows the tile and the subfloor to move independently preventing cracks in the grout and tile. It’s slightly more expensive than cement backboard but at 1/8 in thick, it was perfect for this project where we were trying to reduce the transition from the tile floor to the existing hardwood in the neighboring rooms.
You MUST use the correct type of thinset OR the whole installation will be done incorrectly, be ruined and cause you a lot of money to rip out and redo.
The right kind of thinset is dependent on the type subfloor you have: wood, cement etc… So please make sure to FOLLOW WHAT DITRA says NOT what the guy in the tile isle at the hardware store says.
We almost botched our job by getting bad advice from one of the sales associates in the tile isle at Lowes. If I hadn’t done extensive research online and on the Ditra website prior to going to the store to buy supplies we would have screwed ourselves. Especially since the guy was so convincing, he almost had me doubting myself. I argued with him for about 20 minutes, and thankfully the tile department head, or whatever, came by and heard us having an intense debate, found out what it was about and immediately confirmed that I was correct in everything I was saying, and his employee was wrong.
1 point for Rachel.
What were the winning installation instructions? Well, if you are using wood as your substrate – which is perfectly acceptable by the way (but I wouldn’t use OSB, just go for the plywood) – I will tell you:
- Wet down the plywood floor with a damp sponge.
- Ditra must be set in a mortar bed. So there is a layer of thinset between the plywood and the layer of Ditra. This secures the Ditra to the substrate (plywood in this case). The Ditra has a fleece backing that grabs the thinset.
- The thinset you use as a mortar bed for the Ditra must be modified. Modified thinset uses air to cure, and so can only be used when one of the two substrates it is sandwiched between is permeable. Permeable substrates allow air and moisture to move through them. Wood does this. So the modified thinset will be able to dry. If you put modified thinset between two impermeable substrates, it will take weeks to dry and you will ruin your tile job.
- Modified thinset has additives that make it stronger and more flexible which are both great properties. If you are putting tile over cement backer board then you would set the backer board in a modified thinset mortar bed on top of the wooden subfloor, and then install the tile on top of the backer board with the proper modified thinset for the type of tile you are using.
- IF you are using Ditra over a wooden subfloor (Ditra replaces the cement backer board) the Ditra is set into a modified thinset mortar bed. THEN you use a UNMODIFIED thinset to lay the tile over the Ditra. It must be unmodified. If you use a porcelain tile like we did, because porcelain is impervious and the Ditra is impervious you can not use a modified thinset because there is no movement of air and moisture for it to cure – so it will not. It will not dry or cure correctly and you will have ruined your installation. By correctly using an unmodified thinset, it will cure in the absence of air (just how concrete can cure underwater) and you will be good to go.
- So please, read the directions.
As the hours fly by:
At first I thought the Ditra would make for a quicker tile installation. INCORRECT. It is a much longer process, unless you are a pro and then I’m sure you can slap it down quickly. I am not a pro so these next few steps took a while:
- Roll Ditra out and cut to length with a utility knife.
- Set into mortar bed, making sure to key it into the floor. I think that is the right word. Meaning, don’t just dump a shovel of thinset on to the floor and start using the notched side of the trowel to spread it out. Use the flat side of the trowel to push the thinset into the substrate to make sure even coverage and adhesion – then you can notch it.
- Roll the Ditra out on the thinset layer and use a grout float or a wooden block to smooth out the Ditra and make sure there is good adhesion. Lift up a corner to make sure the thinset is completely covering the Ditra and the floor.
- Once all of the Ditra is down, you can tile immediately. But first….
- Use the flat side of the trowel to push thinset into the waffles, so that the waffles are completely filled with thinset, no gaps. Do this as you go, a small area at a time.
- With the waffles filled spread a layer of thinset on to the Ditra with the notched trowel.
- Lay your tile, working in small areas.
This video is a great instructional step-by-step:
On to the drywall! There are no action shots of us doing this since all hands were occupied all the time. Whoops!
I would like note that this day, and the days of mudding, taping, and sanding that followed, were absolutely awful. I dislike this part of renovation the most. It is messy, tedious, never-ending madness that wears you down.
It is not a good idea to schedule cabinet installation 7 days from the day you finally get around to hanging the drywall, considering that you haven’t laid the floor tile either. If you do this, like we did, it will be the beginning of many evenings that end in mornings around 3am or 4am.
It will also include more than a few microwave dinners, stops through the drive through, and late night pizza cravings, in addition to copious amounts of sugary coffee drinks and pop. Enough to thicken your blood to sludge and fatten up your liver, if it wasn’t so short-lived.
All of this inevitably leads to poor dental hygiene, since you are collapsing into bed as the sun comes up, after hastily stuffing your face with french fries, since that it the only thing available at 2am in the morning, and you didn’t have the energy to lift a brush to your teeth.
It most certainly requires a husband with strong hands to work out all of the kinks and knots that have built up in your shoulders so that your don’t walk around like Quasimodo for the rest of the week.
The original walls in the house were some type of sheet rock, with 1/4″ of wet plaster troweled on top. This made the walls very thick, and not particularly easy to transition to the new drywall patches.
I tried my best, considering the circumstances, and it turned out OK. I gave myself a break on this because we were dealing with such a short time frame, and I work full-time and go to graduate school. So my plate is pretty full as it is.
Through all of this renovation madness I did have a moment of enlightenment. I realized shortly afterwards, that most home bloggers likely feel the same way. What was my light bulb reallization you ask?
I have discovered over the years that house remodeling is my unpaid part-time job which consists of mostly evenings and weekend shifts, where I am my own slave driver (and my husbands too), and I give all of the money I make in my real job to Lowes, Home Depot, and most recently, appliance stores.
Would you like to see the results of my unpaid secondary employment? Yes? Well good, here you go:
We did have to keep this soffit because it encases the landing at the top of the stairs.